Moisture on cheese?

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Murray

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Dec 30, 2018
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Grande Cache Alberta
I have only smoked cheese 3 times. I'm following the thread https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/cheese-lots-of-pics.286031/

When I do cheese the cheddar will come out of the MES with small cracks around the edges, I assume from moisture loss. The cheese's with a higher fat/moisture do not crack but I always place the more expensive cheeses in the middle and the cheddar usually ends up on the edges or back of the rack. The "cracked" cheese is dryer than non smoked cheese but not so much that it's over dry to the taste. Should I be adding a little moisture to the MES to prevent/mimimize this drying/cracking effect? Cheddar tastes good, my problem is that don't know what properly smoked cheese should like.
 

Murray

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Dec 30, 2018
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Grande Cache Alberta
I didn't see any "to do's"... Pre warm the cheese above ambient... Run the smoker below 70F....
Last batch, cheese sat on the counter for an hour and a half, smoker temperature started at 38F and finished at 44F. The MES wasn't turned on, the rise in temperature was following the ambient air temperature.
 

gmc2003

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The sharper the cheddar(aged longer) the dryer the cheddar becomes. Hence the cracking and crumbling you see. As the moisture/oils are dissipated the cheese goes from a smooth texture to a granular texture. I've smoked some really well aged cheddar the basically falls apart when trying to slice it.

Chris

Edit: I wouldn't add any more moisture.
 

pineywoods

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You got good advice from Dave and Chris. The 3 year Cabot Cheddar I did in that smoke wanted to crumble when I cut it into smaller pieces. The cheese will often sweat when taken from the Fridge most of the time it will dry either on the counter or in the smoker. When you live in a high humidity area like I do sometimes it doesn't dry and actually gets more moisture on it. When I did that smoke it was cloudy at the start with humidity in the 90% range then the sun came out and the air temp started rising. My smokehouse has a metal roof so I had to turn the sprinkler on the roof on to keep the cheese from melting which increased the humidity even higher probably into the 95-99% range so the cheese got more moisture not less while being smoked and came out damp to wet. I only added the comments in that thread because at times other people get the same thing and if you seal that cheese before it dries often times it will get mold. I'm about to post the final pics in that thread it is now all dry and vacuum sealed.
 

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